Friday, July 15, 2011

First FPV experience

Even though it was way too windy for the Kinetic, I just had to try the new installed FPV equipment. I didn't come up with a good solution on how to mount the VTx, so I just used an old servo box, it also gives some protection but it's very ugly.

The winds was steady around 5-6 m/s and up to 9 m/s in the gusts. The heavy loaded Kinetic was sometimes thrown around, but it went out ok in the end. I had to have WOT in the start and during flight I never had it below 75%. I learned many lessons today:
- always have a spotter (I lost it a couple of times)
- always check your gear before leaving for the field (forgot the battery hatch)
- make sure your goggles don't let any light in, it's very hard to see

Equipment used:
- Swedish Airforce Kinetic
- 5.8g 200mw FPV Wireless AV Tx & Rx Set
- HXT900 9g / 1.6kg / .12sec Micro Servo
- Hobby King 2.4Ghz 6Ch Tx & Rx V2 (Mode 2)
- FPV Fiberglass Pan-Tilt Camera Mount L-Size
- 5.8 GHz Bluebeam Cloverleaf/Skew-Planar Wheel Antenna Set (RHCP)
- Goggles: Trimersion, hacked with influence by aaronredbaron

Swedish Airforce Kinetic

I found this CRC Pro Paint which is a spray color that dries almost instantly, does not drip and has a nice matte grey color. From now on, all my foamies transform from dull-white to airforce-grey.

I've attached a camera and a 5,8gHz transmitter, now it's time for FPV soon!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Medium EDF ordered ;)

Ok, as my RC-Playground buddy ordered his cute Swallow EDF jet, I thought I should join him;

It's Hobbyking's 64MM EDF T-45 Goshawk. A beautiful scale jet with recessed panel lines and extra details all over the place. I ordered the kit version and beefed up the power system for screaming speed and power to carry extra equipment such as telemetry sensors, retracts, etc.

T-45 Goshawk R/C 64mm EDF Jet EPO Kit only
EDF Ducted Fan Unit 7Blade 2.5inch 64mm
HK2836 EDF Outrunner 3800kv for 64mm
TURNIGY Plush 60amp Speed Controller
Turnigy nano-tech 2200mah 4S 45~90C Lipo Pack

Stay tuned for my build log, mods and flight tests.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Small EDF ordered

I recently found this cute little EDF and just had to get it. The plane is only 660 mm wingspan with a 40 mm small EDF. It requires 2 micro 2,5g servos to control the two ailerons/elevator.

Tech specs (HK info):
Wing Span: 610mm (24in)
Length: 390mm (15.3in)
Flying Weight: 140g
EDF Unit: 40mm (Required)
ESC: 15A (Required)
Servos: 2 x 2.5g (Required)
Battery: 2s 7.4v 500mAh Lipoly (Required)

EDF Unit: 40mm
ESC: 15A
Battery: 2s 7.4v 500mAh Lipoly
Servos: 2 x 2.5g

I got the EDF 40 completely assembled with a 8400 KV brushless motor, which should fit perfect. It can only handle a 2S pack, but I'll try to find another motor for better performance.

Tech specs (HK info):
Weight: 28g
Kv: 8400rpm/v
Size: 42 x 39mm
Battery: 2~3S
Voltage: 7.5, 8.0, 8.5V
Current: 13.0, 15.0, 17.5A
Thrust: 130, 150, 170g
Watt: 97.5, 120, 148.8W
Efficiency(g/W): 1.33, 1.25, 1.14

As soon as all parts arrive I'll do a build log and a test run.

Parts used
Mini Swallow Jet 40mm EDF (610mm) (KIT)
EDF40 with 8400kv Motor Assembled
HK-282A Single-Screw, Ultra-Micro Servo 2g (my servos was actually orange, not black)
TURNIGY Plush 18amp Speed Controller

Monday, March 14, 2011

Review Hobbyking TX glove and universal heater

Since we still have cold wheather the transmitter glove and universal heater from Hobbyking is a must for addicted flyers.

There is really not much to say about the glove itself. Most transmitters will fit since it is quite big.

Universal heater before unboxing.

Neatly packed.

Instructions on the bottom side of the box, no manual inside needed.

Control unit with wires and plugs.

Heat pads before installation.

Control unit after changing connectors to a T-plug instead.

Check out the short film we made on these products.

Be aware, this thing can get really hot! The range is from 30-80 degrees celsius which probably could cause serious burns. We flew in -7 degrees with 8 m/s winds and it was almost impossible to fly more than a couple of minutes not using the glove/heater combo. We power the heater with a 3S Turnigy LiPo, 1300mAh which lasts for one flight.

Products used in this review:
- Hobbyking Transmitter Glove
- Hobbyking Universal heater
- T-plug
- Turnigy 1300mAh 3S 30C Lipo Pack

Monday, March 7, 2011

High Density LED Flexible Strip Landing Lights - Parkfun Fusion

Fitted flexible strip LED lights to my wings and tail as landing/visibility lighting and also the Lumifly Lighting system as navigation lights. All from Hobbyking.

Parts we used:
Turnigy High Density R/C LED Flexible Strip-White
Lumifly Lighting system FAA Configurable

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Product test - HXT9610 Metal gear retract servo

We recently installed the HXT9610 Metal gear retract servo from Hobbyking in our Kyosho Focke Wulf FW-190. It runs really smooth and works great. Check out the short clip.

We will post a full review later this spring.

Parts we used:
Hobbyking HXT9610 Low profile metal gear retract servo
Kyosho SQS Warbird Series Focke Wulf FW-190 50EP

Snow flying with skis - Parkfun Fusion

Flying the modified Parkfun Fusion on a nice winter day. Strong 10 m/s (22 mph) winds was nothing for the gyro-stabilized plane. Skis from Hobbyking adding wheight of almost 200 grams.

Parts we used:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Review ElectronicaRC antenna tracker

INTRODUCTION sells this Antenna pan/tilt assembly kit designed to work with EagleEyes, the groundstation from EagleTree Systems. It is designed to hold patch antennas (2.4Ghz: 8dBi, 13dBi and 14dBi. 1.3Ghz: 8dBi and 5.8Ghz) and has direct mounting points for L-Com 2.4Ghz 14dBi and 1.3Ghz 8dBi Antenna. also claims it may work with other antennas on the market.

The antenna tracker is ready for mounting to any standard photography tripod.

This antenna tracker came neatly packed as always from I heard some parts moving around in the box, but nothing was broken.

• Plastic case w/ pre-drilled holes for EagleEyes (W: 118 mm, H: 61 mm, L: 190 mm)
• 4 pcs M3x40mm "pins"
• Aluminium rod w/ nuts to hold the pan/tilt mechanism
• 4 pcs zip tie 95mm
• Wooden plate w/ pre-drilled holes

• TowerPro SG-5010 double ball bearing - tilt
• GWS S125 1T/2BB - pan

Aluminium profiles:
• Large, pan (Base: 252 mm, H1: 140 mm, H2: 166 mm)
• Small, tilt (Base: 227 mm, H: 32 mm)

• 1 pc M3x16mm flat head
• 8 pcs M3x10mm flat head
• 2 pcs M3x12mm flat head
• 4 pcs M3x22mm flat head, Phillips
• 2 pcs 3x9mm self-tapping, Phillips

Nuts, washers:
• 10 pcs M3x2,1mm nuts
• 1 pc M3 nylon locknut
• 1 pc M3x5mm nut
• 22 pcs 3x7mm washers
Plastic case, front. The machined groove is uneven and looks a bit "homemade".

Inside of the case.

Pins for servo mount, pan servo.

Aluminium rod for pan mechanism. Bottom part is a servohorn glued to a thicker aluminium tube, which is possible to detach.

Wooden plate which is the base of the pan servo. It takes up all weight of pan/tilt mechanism including antennas and VRxs. This is the whole unit's Achilles heel or weak point.

Tilt servo, TowerPro SG-5010 double ball bearing.

Pan servo, GWS S125 1T/2BB. 1T = 360 degrees, i.e. it can rotate one turn. Commonly used as pan servo in the plane also.

Aluminium profiles. I painted my profiles light grey.

Flat head machine screws.

Screw for mounting front and back of the box together.

Screw for tilt mechanism.

Standard M3 nuts, used for fastening of the servos.

Long nut (left), and lock nut (right), part of the tilt mechanism.

Standard M3 washers.

It didn't take me longer than probably 2 hours to complete this kit. Even though there was no manual (at least I didn't have one, now you guys do...) it's not rocket science to build this antenna tracker. All parts fit together nicely and I didn't have to do any special fixing.

First, do a check that everything that's supposed to be included really is in your box. Since there is no documentation included I had to find out for myself.

Then, start with mounting the pan servo. Make sure you have the long pins/nuts (M3x40mm) turned with the pins down through the holes. Don't forget the washer before you mount the nuts. I didn't use any thread locker, but I might regret that. Main reason is I didn't have any while I did this build.

The wooden plate should be positioned like above when looking from the underside.

View from the top.

Before mounting any servos, I used the Turnigy 760LV-HV Dual Pulse Width Selectable Servo Tester to establish that servos are working, checking end points and locating neutral/centre position.

Pan servo ready for mounting in the box. Notice direction of the servo. The bottom part of the rod for the pan mechanism is also mounted, with the included screw that comes with the servo.

Now is a good time to mount the tripod shoe (not included). Everything gets much easier when you have the box mounted to your tripod during the build.

Pan servo installed.

Tilt servo mounted on the aluminium profile.

Servo horn installed with two self-tapping screws.

And a view from the other side

Tilt mechanism ready for action.

Another view of tilt servo.

The other side of the tilt aluminium profile is secured with the nylon lock nut.

Top of the antenna tracker.

Another view of the top.

The whole antenna tracker, ready for the EagleEyes.

Looks nice. I'm satisfied with the grey matte colour.

Overall I'm satisfied, but I can't help feeling a little bit cheated. It's a nice product which is easy to build but for the price of €118 / $165.20 I must say that should provide you with a manual, parts list and most of all more precise milling of the box. I feel like I could have done an equal good job with my Dremel.

The wooden plate which is base for the pan servo is, as said before in this review, the Achilles heel of the whole unit. Why? Because it takes up all weight of pan/tilt mechanism, antennas and VRxs. This should be thicker, have some carbon rods or be made of some type of laminate.

This kit should also include mounting equipment for the VRx since that's what it's made for. Now I'll have to come up with my own solution.

Nevertheless, this is a nice add-on to my "groundstation-to-be" and now when I'm done, I can't resist feeling a bit proud.